Global Credit Rating (GCR) has announced the upgrade of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) international scale long-term issuer rating from A- to A, with stable outlook. The rating agency has also upgraded the international scale long-term issuer rating on the Bank’s Global Medium-Term Note (GMTN) Programme to A (Stable Outlook) and affirmed the Bank’s short-term issuer rating at A2.
According to GCR, Afreximbank’s credit rating has been upgraded to reflect the positive consequences of the elevated status and growing importance of the Bank and the subsequent African Union supported US$6.5 billion General Capital Increase (GCI) approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors in June 2021. The “Stable” outlook is also supported by a strong balance sheet and strong shareholder support that is expected to carry Afreximbank through the turbulent global cycle, especially considering the current geopolitical instability and the vulnerable global economy. GCR also noted that the status of Afreximbank has benefited from significant membership penetration especially in the African region, significant capital flows from shareholders and track record for Preferential Creditor Treatment (PCT). The Bank is now one of the largest and most influential Multilateral Development Banks operating in the African region, with its franchise as a trade finance focused MDB strengthening over the last decade, meaning its strategic position has elevated.
The rating agency believes that the many initiatives that Afreximbank has undertaken over the last couple of years, including the recently introduced Ukraine Crisis Adjustment Trade Financing Programme for Africa (UKAFPA), worth US$4 billion on a net basis, will continue to be a strong underpin of relevance and importance to its shareholders. Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, commented “We are pleased to receive the positive news of the ratings uplift. We thank the Bank’s Shareholders and member States for the strong support that led to this outcome. Afreximbank remains committed to delivering value to all its Shareholders from both trade development and financial perspectives.”